Sunday, August 30, 2009

Here I am

I just got home from an 8 day anniversary trip (13 years!!) with my Rennaissance man. 5 nights in the wilderness and 3 nights in travel to get there (plus a gloriously romantic night in a bed and breakfast). He asked me all year if I still wanted it to be a killer backpacking trip and I never waivered in my resolve - ABSOLUTELY! There is no other trip that deeply restores like being in the deep backcountry. Nothing.

Our first night was such a ridiculous contrast to the remaining nights. I thought it would be fun to see book a super cheap hotel and found a deal near Reno for about $25. Flashing neon lights, gambling, people trapped in windowless casinos, was a great hotel really but the setting was so unsettling. Do people really go to Reno to relax? Yikes. We got up the next day and hightailed it to our trailhead, outside of Bishop, CA.

God can speak so loud when the world's city distractions give way to his creation. For 5 1/2 days we hiked - 60 miles - into high elevation Sierras into a basin called Evolution Basin that is heralded as one of the most beautiful places on earth - and it was. We lived at 11,000 feet high for 5 nights - with steep climbs and a total of over 22,000 feet in elevation changes (that's like climbing South Sister 2 times!).

Each morning, I awoke with the same song. Every time we'd hit a rhythm on the trail and descend into silence this same song started playing in my mind. When that happens, I listen. I know it's not a mistake. The chorus played. Each morning I asked God, is this song for me? Yes.

You see, the big change in my life is that I will start, tomorrow, teaching full time. I never wanted to work full time but when I interviewed for part time, they couldn't resist offering me full time. I am half time music for grades 1 through 12 and then half time high school Spanish.

I am undoubtedly nervous. I don't know if we can maintain the family lifestyle we have with me working full time. Renaissance man has told me he will do 100% of the cooking and shopping this year to allow me to put in the hours I need. But, ALL DAY! EVERY DAY! My life was totally full before this.

I want to serve these kids at this school. It's such an honor and opportunity, but I don't want to sacrifice my own family.

Back to the song. It's called "Here I am" and each morning the mountain radio playing in my mind sang to me this chorus. I just got home and had to go see what the rest of the song had to say and it spoke directly into my life. I am to take on this song as my prayer. It will be hard...but as the song says, "Aren't you the closest when it's hardest to stand?" If I take on an attitude of "Here I am, use me" it will undoubtedly trump grumpy attitudes that threaten to steal my servant's joy when this job bleeds into evenings and weekends.

So God, Here I am, send me to the ministry field of the classroom. All of my life, make it an offering.

Here I Am by Downhere
Sometimes Your calling, comes in dream
Sometimes in comes in the Spirit's breeze
You reach for the deepest hope in me
And call out for the things of eternity
But I'm a man, of dust and stains,
You move in me, so I can say
Here I am, Lord send me
All of my life, I make an offering,
Here I am, Lord send me
Somehow my story is a part of Your plan,
Here I am
When setbacks and failures, and upset plans
Test my faith and leave me with empty hands
Are You not the closest when it's hardest to stand
I know that You will finish what You began
these broken parts You will redeem
Become the song that I can sing
Overwhelmed by the thought of my weakness
And the fear that I'll fail You in the end In this mess,
I'm just one of the pieces, I can't put this together but You can
Here I Am, all my life an offering to You, to You Somehow my story is a part of Your plan
Here I am


Rachel said...

Hi! Sounds like amazing trip! WOW!! I pray for abundant courage in your new job - may you be blessed beyond measure. Teaching is such an awesome responsibility and privilege.


Debbie Chavers said...

A quick note to tell you I am praying for you.
May God bless you,

Jenny said...

THIS is a great post. The N5 keep telling the Lord the same thing. We are ready to go to the Philippines!

Happy Anniversary, too.

I thought you wern't blogging anymore...?

Amanda P said...

Great post Julie, it's a good place to be..looking at the hard things ahead and knowing that God has you there and will get you through. Thanks for the encouragement.